By Alex Wahl
The Hatboro-Horsham Hatters struggled in the first half with only seven points and exactly 100 penalty yards. However, an explosive offense came in at the second half to stun the Central Bucks East Patriots in the final minute to win 21-17.
After coming off a tough loss last week to Central Bucks West, the Hatters would not suffer a second straight loss heading into the holiday weekend.
Hatters head coach Mike Kapusta was worried about having a lot of penalties against them for a second straight week.
“Penalties hurt us,” said Kapusta. “That’s something that we need to clean up. We hope that this doesn’t become a trend. Sometimes that calls are warranted and other times they’re tough to see.
“We just need to see the videos. We need to tell our guys to keep it clean so that there’s no chance to have these penalties against us.”
After poor offensive performances by both teams in the first half, the Patriots had a 10-7 lead heading into halftime.
The fireworks really started going into the final few minutes of the game. With a little over three minutes left, the Hatters defense came up big to force a turnover on downs and give the offense a chance to win the game.
After starting quarterback Chris Edwards kept hitting receivers down the sideline, Hatboro-Horsham had a few more chances to score, but they only needed one more chance.
With 34 seconds left in the game, Edwards connected on a 57-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Kwiatanowski to lead 21-17.
The Patriots had a shot to win, but the defense stopped the explosive offense with an interception in the end zone to seal the win.
“It was just an electric play,” said Kapusta. “It was one of these situations that we’ve been plugged into and we were waiting for that break to happen. Just simply for the right moment and making the right play and our captain came through for us.”
Edwards finished the game going 8-for-14 with 101 yards and also had a nice effort on defense.
“Chris is a great boy,” said Kapusta. “Working offensively and defensively puts a toll on you physically. He managed to get juiced up at the end with big plays, staying on his toes and deliver on throws. I couldn’t be more proud of his performance tonight.”
The win avenges a loss to CB East last year when the Patriots came out on top at their home turf 24-6.
The Hatboro-Horsham High School football squad will hit the road next week to Souderton for its final game before the conference season begins. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
CB East 17, Hatboro-Horsham 21
CB East 0 10 0 7 -17
Hatboro-Horsham 7 0 7 7 -21
HH – Kwiatanowski 40 run (Kim kick)
CBE – Guzzi 14 run (Webb kick)
CBE – Smigley 21 field goal
HH – Suder 1 run (Kim kick)
CBE – Novroski 35 pass from O’Donnell (Smigley kick)
HH – Kwiatanowski 57 pass from Edwards (Kim kick)
First downs 8 8
Rushing yards 103 153
Passing yards 168 101
Total yards 271 254
Passing 9-14 8-14
Penalties 4-30 14-120
Fumbles lost 0 0
RUSHING – CB East: Ventresca 13-59; Tracy 1-0; Lochetta 1-5; O’Donnel 10-(-2); Guzzi 10-41 1 TD. Hatboro-Horsham: Kwiatanowski 12-88 1 TD; Edwards 9-50; Suder 7-5 1 TD; Smith 2-10.
PASSING – CB East: O’Donnell 9-14 168 yards 1 TD. Hatboro Horsham: Edwards 8-14 101 yards 1 TD.
RECEIVING – CB East: Guzzi 4-60; Novroski 3-67 1 TD; Lorchetta 2-41. Hatboro-Horsham: Ejimonyuegwo 5-44; Broaddus Jr. 1-3; Suder 1-(-3); Kwiatanowski 1-57 1 TD.